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‘Johnny U’ items donated to Berlin

Posted On: 6/23/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(June 23, 2016) Sandra L. Unitas, the widow of Colts legend Johnny Unitas, met with Berlin Mayor Gee Williams last Friday to donate a few items to the town. Among them was a pool table, once owned by “Johnny U,” that the town plans to give to nonprofit Worcester Youth and Family Counseling. She also offered a custom TV cabinet that the couple commissioned just before he passed away about 14 years ago. Williams said that item could be a good fit in the town’s visitor’s center on Main Street, where videos are shown of different attractions and special events in the town. The encounter was something of an accident. Unitas was in town shopping and visiting a restaurant, and walked into Town Hall to ask if she was parked in an appropriate space. “They said ‘no’ and I said, ‘OK, but would you like to have a pool table?’” she said. “I looked up and it was [the mayor’s] office. I didn’t know where I was or wh...
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OPA Board special meeting today will address tie votes

Posted On: 6/23/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(June 23, 2016) The Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors will hold a special meeting today, Thursday, to address a pair of proposed capital purchases that failed to earn approval after a 3-3-tie vote. The meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. in the boardroom inside the administration building.   During the last regular meeting, May 26, Vice President Cheryl Jacobs was absent and the remaining directors deadlocked on the purchase of fairway mowers and sprayers for the golf course, and for a food truck that would serve several Ocean Pines amenities and events. The mower and sprayer are on the agenda Thursday, while the food truck is absent. Reached for comment, Jacobs confirmed that item would not be addressed during the meeting. Following the open session, the directors will convene to discuss “contractual issues” related to Landscapes Unlimited, which manages the community golf course. “They’ve been here a year now and it’s totally appropri...
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Town, organizers ready for another Goat Island return

Posted On: 6/23/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

 (June 23, 2016) Last weekend was the Ocean City Air Show, the Firefly Music Festival, the Summer Kickoff in Pocomoke and the Berlin Peach Pageant, plus a celebration of little island in Snow Hill with a goat on it that paddle boarders and kayakers raced around. And it still drew hundreds. Those not paddling on the Pocomoke River played Frisbee games, cornhole or built Lego projects while others blew bubbles, used the nearby playground or visited the petting zoos. Spectators and participants listened to performers, including Nick Haglich and the Dukes of Delmarva, while others basked in the sun, ate or caught up with neighbors. All the while dedicated and amateur paddlers raced around the spit of land, and the single goat denizen stood sentinel. “The participation, especially in our first year, was tremendous,” Sandy Deeley, owner of Walk on Water in Ocean City and co-founder of the event, said. “The town’s hospitality was outstanding, and the weath...
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Truck and tractor pull this weekend

Posted On: 6/23/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(June 23, 2016) Drivers of four classes of vehicles will compete for a share of the prize purse in Pocomoke City at the fairgrounds this weekend, as well as the chance to bolster their end-of-year rankings as part of the 13th annual East Coast Pullers Truck and Tractor Pull. The event is sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League, but managed by the East Coast Pullers, which is one of the largest organizations within that league, according to manager Dave Moore. “The drivers are following the points, and the people follow the shows,” Moore said. Point totals are used to calculate prize winnings. Super and pro-stock diesel tractors, pro-stock diesel four-wheel drive trucks, two-wheel drive trucks and hot farm tractors will all attempt to drag a 40,000-lb. sled the farthest distance — usually topping out between 280 and 320 feet, John Smith, organizer said. “Most times, it takes all of that weight to stop the trucks, and anyone can win at any time R...
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Snow Hill poised to pass vacant building registration

Posted On: 6/23/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(June 23, 2016) The vacant building ordinance that has been the subject of debate in recent months in Snow Hill reemerged as a vacant building registration during last week’s meeting of the mayor and council. “We can get heavier handed as we go along,” Michael Day, economic development consultant, said. “We needed to know what is out there and what is vacant.” The stated purpose of the ordinance is to “establish a mechanism to protect residential and commercial neighborhoods from becoming blighted through lack of adequate maintenance and to ensure the safety of vacant properties.” What is considered a blighted building by the town is under the discretion of a code officer, but some factors in defining a blighted building include collapsing or missing walls, roofs or floors, seriously damaged or missing siding, structurally faulty foundations and fire damage. Buildings falling under the ordinance must show evidence of vacancy for 90 consec...
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Berlin mayor and council election takes shape

Posted On: 6/23/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(June 23, 2016) While the upcoming election in Berlin looks to be considerably less crowded than in nearby Ocean Pines, where 12 men and women are running for three seats, the stakes are equally high, with the mayor and two council positions appearing on the ballot. Current Mayor Gee Williams has already tipped his hat to run for reelection, and District 2 Councilmember Lisa Hall filed for that office last Friday.   The District 2 seat is up for grabs, and, as of press time, 26-year-old Zackery Tyndall was the only candidate to file there.   District 3 is also on the line, a seat that Elroy Brittingham has held for more than 20 years. It is not known if he plans to run again. The voting registration deadline for the municipal election is Friday, Sept. 2. Voters must be registered with the Worcester County Board of Election and can pick up forms in Berlin Town Hall. Like voters, candidates must file to run by Sept. 2, at 5 p.m. Applications to vote absentee will be a...
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Council’s Lisa Hall hopes her next seat will be mayor’s

Posted On: 6/23/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(June 23, 2016) District 2 Councilmember Lisa Hall threw her hat into the mayoral election ring on Friday, filling out the paperwork to challenge incumbent Mayor Gee Williams. Hall, 58, was raised on a chicken farm in nearby Parsonsburg. She worked in property management and ran a business with her late husband, and is currently serving her second four-year term on the town council. She has been extremely active with the Maryland Municipal League, where she served on the board and the legislative and communications committees. She also serves on the board of the Rural Maryland Council and is president of the Eastern Shore Association of Municipalities. Along with that experience, which she said enabled her to “get educated in municipal government,” Hall said she has seen some unsettling things occur on the council during the last few years. “I’ve been [serving] two terms on the council, and unfortunately there’s things that have happened that IR...
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OP-OC Kiwanis Club awards scholarships to 17 students

Posted On: 6/23/16
Written By:

(June 23, 2016) The Kiwanis Club of Greater Ocean Pines - Ocean City Scholarship Foundation recently presented 17 scholarships to deserving graduating senior students at Stephen Decatur High School. Kiwanis Selections Committee Chair Roy Foreman presented the awards. This year’s recipients are: Peyton Townsend -  $2,000 -  University of Georgia; Caroline Hammond - $1,500 -  University of Maryland; Zohar Omer - $1,500 - University of Maryland; Zainab Mirza - $1,000 -  American University; Rebekah Nesbit - $1,000 - Washington College; Hyun Soo Chun $1,000 - University of Maryland; Adam Kristick - $1,000 - University of Maryland; Logan Romberger - $1,000 - University of Virginia; Hunter Ulrich - $500 - Widener University; Contessa Hutchins - $500 -  University of Florida; Olivia Kurtz - $500 - Salisbury University; Erin Smith - $500 - Christopher Newport University; Rebecca Evans - $500 - American University; Catherine Withers - $500 - Towson Universit...
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Worcester County solar co-op meeting in Snow Hill tonight

Posted On: 6/23/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(June 23, 2016) The only meeting in southern Worcester for residents interested in forming a solar electric cooperative is scheduled for tonight at 7 p.m. at the train station on Belt Street in Snow Hill. Another meeting is scheduled for June 29 in Ocean Pines. The 90-minute session will be hosted by MD Sun, a division of the nonprofit Community Power Network. The idea is for residents to band together and use their collective purchasing power to leverage a discount on installation fees for solar cells on their property, Corey Ramsden, Maryland project manager for the nonprofit, said. “The first part of the meeting will be about solar technology, so we can establish a baseline of what people might know and how the technology works within the home, Ramsden said. Next, the processes of forming a co-op and purchasing will be explained, he said. The final formal topic of discussion, Ramsden said, would be financing options. While those are the discrete subheadings on the a...
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Berlin Chamber celebrated 30th anniversary, Thurs.

Posted On: 6/23/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(June 23, 2016) The Berlin Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 30th anniversary last Thursday with a well-attended ceremony in the parking lot of its office on Main Street. The crowd was largely made up of local business owners, many of which had been active chamber participants for years, and even decades. Mayor Gee Williams admitted he was “a little embarrassed” to be old enough to remember the founding of the chamber, in 1986. “Five to 10 years before that there were more business, more places downtown – not just Main Street, but the side streets – that were closed than were even open,” he said. “Many of those places that were closed were used for storage.” That all changed about four years ago, Williams said. “It didn’t happen overnight, but it happened by persistence and because [of] many of the people here and many of the people that preceded us,” he said. “I hope we can all take a little time and remem...
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